The Winds of Time

Session 18
Serpent 18

The party (inlcuding Yarou) was honored in a brief ceremony thanking them for saving the Heir. Realizing that they were to be honored at a formal dinner that evening, the party immediately rushed to find a tailor who could dress them appropriately for the event.

They ended up retaining the services of Asahina Okinakaze, who fussed and hassled and managed to garb the party appropriately. His primary condition was that the party name-drop him at the feast.

After that, the party climbed into a series of palanquins. Yarou insisted on being in the lead palanquin, and the rest of the group’s palanquins followed them. After a short time, the party realized that they were not on the correct route to the governor’s manor. The palanquin bearers claimed that they had been told only to follow the palanquin in front – the lead palanquin was navigating. By the time the party had this figured out, Yarou was too far ahead to easily catch or hail, so the party headed on to the manor on their own.

At the feast, the party managed to avoid embarrassing themselves. They were seated near to the Heir at the top table, across from some Crane courtiers who gossiped among themselves for nearly the entire dinner. They also spent some time casually insulting party members in a very passive-aggressive manner.

Mid-way through dinner, the governor received a message and disappeared. The party heard armed troops moving through the halls and a commotion outside the walls. It soon became clear that something was going on outside.

The party armed themselves (but were not allowed into the manor while armed), and prepared to face whatever it was.

It turned out to be a mob of peasants, who broke the gate open and attacked.

The party dealt with the first wave and helped the guards seal the gate, but there is still a great deal of chaos outside and no-one knows where Yarou is.

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Session 17
Serpent 17

We begin where we left off – Iuchi Chaya, Suzume Oharu, and Shosuro Tsuna were informing the Imperial Guard of the situation.

Tsuna opted to ride back with the guard while Chaya and Oharu rode on ahead.

Meanwhile, Matsu Shinokage and Mirumoto Daredemo decided to blend in to the (large) crowd to wait for the arrival of the Heir so that they could be close if something happened.

Shosuro Fukurokuma opted to conceal himself on the rooftop where Akodo Yarou was hiding (and the would-be assassin was expected to strike from).

The city guard opted to treat Chaya and Oharu’s return as a signal that the Heir was close and began clearing the streets for the arrival of the Heir.

Meanwhile, one of the peasants in the crowd asked Daredemo if he knew what to do when they saw the signal, because he had forgotten. Daredemo played dumb.

An hour later, the Heir arrived. The governor greeted him at the gate to her estate, and gave a speech thanking nearly everyone and everything for his safe journey. Then they proceeded to the front door of the estate itself, where the governor ceremonially handed her sword to the Heir, indicating that it was his home and not hers for the duration of his stay. And then they served breakfast.

Tsuna’s Rank was high enough that she (and her entourage – Chaya and Oharu) was seated closer to the front of the room than they would otherwise have been seated. As a result, they were at a table with a Crane courtier and a couple of Crab courtiers. Over the course of the meal, Tsuna was able to effectively cut the Crane down a few notches – and learned that the real reason for the Heir’s visit was an audit.

Tax money from the city had increased dramatically with no apparent cause, and so many of the courtiers with whom the Heir was travelling were there to examine the books and determine why this city had suddenly become significantly more profitable for the Empire, with an eye towards seeing if a similar plan could be enacted in other cities.

The day was filled with ceremony, and the crowd in the street stayed put all day and into the night. Fukurokuma spent his day suspended from a rope harness, waiting for something to happen.

That night after dinner, the governor invited the Heir to enjoy a hedge maze that she had constructed especially for his visit. At the center of the maze was a small courtyard (which contained the shed with the gunpowder).

As they approached the maze, the door to the roof of the monastery opened, and the assassin began readying his tools. At this point, Fukurokuma lifted himself onto the roof and began to ready himself for action.

Eventually, the Heir made it to the center of the maze. He quickly made his way to a bench that was very near the shed, and the governor joined him on the bench. A moment later, the assassin took his shot – and it was a perfect shot, right into one of the gunpowder kegs.

At this, Yarou charged. The assassin thought quickly enough and hurled burning liquid at Yarou, who stumbled, leaving Fukurokuma to bring the assassin down.

Fukurokuma then yielded the assassin to Yarou, who paraded him to the governor’s mansion (where Yarou was denied admittance, but they took the prisoner). Fukurokuma then questioned the assassin and learned that he was a regular hitter for Araku. This was the highest-value target he’d been hired to deal with.

On learning this, the party decided to interrogate the two henchmen of Araku’s that they had previously imprisoned in Itachi’s secret prison in the sewers. They learned that Araku had skipped town and not left forwarding information.

This whole thing was an attempt by Araku to take out the Governor because he believed that the governor was in league with Itachi. Araku didn’t like paying the “Itachi Tax” – the share of his earnings that Itachi was taking from every mob boss in town. The two henchmen in the prison had shifted the timing and twisted the plan to attempt to remove the Heir in addition to removing the governor from the picture.

The henchmen explained that they were now the party’s only link to Araku, because Araku didn’t relinquish control of his mob. He would likely be sending a message to them with instructions on how to run the town on his behalf, until he felt it was safe to sneak back into town and reclaim his position.

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Session 16
Serpent 16

Knowing where both the gunpowder and the crossbow that was going to be used to detonate the gunpowder were, the party wasted no time in splitting up.

Tsuna, Shinokage, and Fukurokuma took the Lion guards and went to recover the crossbow, while Daredemo, Oharu, and Chaya took the Crabs and went to the explosives. The party traveled together until they got close to the compound, at which point they split.

There were an unusual number of people on the streets for that time of night, and there were also more peasants in the area than is typical.

The Lion/Scorpion party, after a brief hassle getting into the Temple (which had closed for the night) easily found the crossbow. They asked the abbot to lock the temple down, as they suspected that the assassins have a confederate among the monks in the temple.

The rest of the party was shown to the governor’s gardens by the captain of the governor’s guard. In the garden was a new hedge maze designed by the governor herself to entertain the Heir. The shed containing the explosives was in the very center of that maze.

They ended up soaking the explosives with water summoned by Chaya.

At this point, both sub-parties met by the gates to the governor’s mansion to plan. The plan they hatched was to put the crossbow back and let the would-be assassins proceed with their plan. Originally, they were going to let the two drunken idiots go so that they didn’t need to watch for anyone else, but they decided that it would be a bit too obvious if they did it that way.

With the explosives ruined, it means that the assassins will reveal themselves with their attempt, making it easier for the party (and other loyal samurai) to capture and deal with them.

Yarou was stationed on the roof of the temple with orders to hide until AFTER the assassin takes a shot at the shed, at which point he is to capture the assassin alive.

Tsuna, Chaya, and Oharu then took two Lion guards and rode back to the Heir’s vanguard to inform them of what was going on. The same captain that the party had dealt with previously agreed to go along with the party’s plan, and will try to keep the Heir on the opposite side of the shed from the temple, just in case the assassin misses the shed (or targets the Heir directly instead of the shed).

It is now early Serpent 17, and the Heir will be arriving in a few hours.

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Session 15
Serpent 15-16

Shinokage met with the Crab squad who had been seconded to the party, and led them to the the warehouse which hid the entrance to the underground warehouse. After a brief standoff with the guards, he was permitted access. With his permission, the Engineers set to building a guard post so they could control access to the underground docks.

Meanwhile, the sewer team got cleaned up again and decided to wait at the Inn for the rest of the party to gather. Shinokage waited for the Crabs to get started and then headed to the Inn, leaving them to their work.

Chaya and Tsuna arrived a few hours later with Yarou and a squad of (mostly Lion) Imperial Guard. Yarou and Shinokage chatted briefly. It was clear to all that Yarou didn’t like not being in charge – and felt that he was a better choice to lead than Tsuna. Meanwhile, the Crab team sent a runner – it was Nagori, who was surprised to see the rest of the party there – to let them know that the guardpost was done enough for inspection.

The whole party then headed to the underground warehouse. Yarou spent the time on the way comparing himself to Nagori. After all, Yarou is a Lieutenant in the Imperial Guard, and Nagori is just a low-importance messenger. Nagori ignored the insults.

The party discovered that the Crabs had built a surprisingly-good gatehouse in almost no time at all.

At this point, the party decided to split up again.

Tsuna, Oharu, and Daredemo went to speak to the governor so they could search the route that the Heir was going to take into town. They took Yarou and the Guard with them. After bullying their way through the gate (where they left the Guard), they spoke with the governor in her office. Her paper-free pristine office (which is very unusual for her).

She initially resisted sharing the information with the party, but when she realized there were actual Imperial Guard with them, she gave them the information, and they went to search the route for good choke points that could have been loaded with explosives. On the way out of the mansion, they searched a couple of wagons loaded with food for the Heir.

They found a couple of good choke points, and the Guard (grumbled and) checked the sewers underneath the check points. No explosives were found in their search.

Meanwhile, Chaya realized that if the explosives weren’t in the tunnel anymore, there were only two ways they could have gone: Out by ship or up through the warehouse. She shared this information with Fukurokuma, who put the warehouse’s master (Araku) to the question.

He admitted that he was scheming to kill the governor, but denied knowledge of any plot to kill the heir. The reason he wanted to kill her is because he believes she is in Itachi’s pocket. “Every time Itachi needs muscle, ronin appear in town to provide it. When the need for muscle is over, they disappear until the next time.” He questioned Fukurokuma about why he thought the Heir was a target. When he learned the time frame, he was able to point at two suspects – Koinu and Shiyonin. “They’re likely drinking their wages away,” he said. And gave Fukurokuma directions to where they were likely to be – and they were.

Fukurokuma took Shinokage and Chaya with him, and they found the two miscreants drunk off their asses and playing Chō-Han with their wages (and losing big in the process). After funding the losses for a short time, Fukurokuma invited them outside, where Shinokage clubbed them unconscious from behind.

When they woke up, they were in one of the underground prison cells with Fukurokuma and one of his trees. With almost no effort, he got them to confess what they were up to. “As Araku always says, ‘Change happens from the top down,’ and we will probably never see someone as close to the top as the Heir.”

Koinu and Shiyonin appear to be trying to start some sort of peasant revolt, and have co-opted Araku’s power grab. The explosives are in a shed in the governor’s garden, and the temple across the street has a ledge from which Koinu was going to fire a burning crossbow bolt into that shed, detonating the explosives and leaving a significant power void at the top.

It’s now late on Serpent 16, and the Heir is officially later than was originally planned. The Captain of the Guard who assigned Yarou to the party had promised to delay as much as possible, but wasn’t sure she’d get more than a day of delay.

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Session 14
Serpent 15

In the morning, the party left Shinokage behind to deal with the squad of Crab Engineers and Pragmatists that had been placed at the party’s disposal.

The rest of the party listed and Fukurokuma told them about an ambush that had apparently been planned specifically for them – the underground warehouse was going to be rigged to collapse, killing the party and their squad of Crab allies, and framing the Engineers in the process.

Fukurokuma didn’t think that the criminals who run the warehouse and those who run the prison know about the secret door. It’s possible that their bosses know, but even that is unclear at this point, so the party snuck back into the sewers to access the warehouse via the prisons.

The prison crew had tried to set an ambush inside the prison – it failed. The party surprised and slaughtered them before slipping through the secret door into the smugglers’ warehouse.

Once in the warehouse, they saw three oafs struggling with a couple of barrels near the door. It looked like flint and steel had been bolted to the door, and a rope or cord (soaked in something strong-smelling) ran from the flint to the barrels. Out-of-character, it was noted that this looked like a Looney Tunes trap.

Tsuna approached them, and it became clear that these were probably expendable muscle. The three were easily convinced that Tsuna was the Boss’ representative and kept asking if she needed them to help load (or unload) a boat.

After the oafs headed back down to the launch, Daredemo pulled the cord, coiled it, and put it on a nearby shipping crate. The party then opened a barrel, and found that it contained powder that smelled slightly of fireworks.

At this point, Chaya communed with the Earth spirits and asked if there were more barrels like this around. The answer was “Not anymore.”

After a brief discussion, the party decided to split up even further – Chaya and Tsuna were to ride ahead to intercept (and delay or stop) the Imperial Heir, while the rest of the party tried to figure out where the rest of the barrels of powder went.

Tsuna and Chaya had no difficulties reaching the advance guard for the Heir’s retinue, which was made up (mostly) of Lion Clan samurai. The lieutenant in charge of the first squad was Yarou. He sneered at Chaya, leered at Tsuna, and was his expected officious self. But he did take information to his captain, who brought Chaya and Tsuna forward and allowed them to report. Once that report had been made, she ordered Yarou to assemble a squad and placed Tsuna in charge of that squad, and informed them that she would attempt to delay their arrival in town.

The Crab army is arriving [i]now[/i]. Somewhere, there is a stockpile of gunpowder and a conspiracy to kill the Imperial Heir.

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Session 13
Serpent 14

The tapping turned out to be an old blind peasant man who was delivering food to the prisoners. “All four of you,” he said at one point. He reached the bottom of the stairs (and the wreckage of the door), and stopped. He muttered something to himself that sounded a lot like, “Itachi’s not going to like this.”

The party, meanwhile, set up to ambush him. They ended up not attacking him – in fact, they let him go. He proceeded a short distance up the sewers, and stopped, refusing to lead the party to his master(s).

The party ended up trudging for several miles through the sewers, hauling him as a prisoner. When they reached the end of the sewer system, most of the party went to a bathhouse to get clean. Chaya and Fukurokuma took the old man outside of town to interrogate him.

On the way out of town, they were informed that the Imperial Road was closed to travelers, and so they were to stay well off of the road.

The old man had no useful information to share, and the fact that he was missing a few fingers suggested that torture would be ineffective, so Chaya and Fukorokuma killed him and burned his body in the woods.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party went to visit the governor, who appeared to be under more stress than usual. They bluffed their way past a guard by telling him that they were there about the “upcoming visit” (that he had asked about).

The party then proceeded to fill the governor in on the (massive) smuggling operation they had uncovered. She was quite displeased and more than a little angry.

The Crab Armies will be here tomorrow. The Imperial Heir will be here the day after. She doesn’t have time to deal with this, too. So the party has been assigned a squad of Kaiu Engineers and Hida Pragmatists to deal with the problem. When the army arrives tomorrow.

A short time later, Fukurokoma met with Gojin, who invited Tsuna along. Gojin wants some of the goods from the smuggler’s warehouse, and offers to owe a favor to Fukurokima in exchange for access to the warehouse (or some of the goods from it).

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Session 12
Serpent 14

The party opted to start the evening by exploring through the secret door. Behind that door was a narrow hallway with five doors on either side that were bolted from this side and a door at the end of the hallways that didn’t have a visible bolt (and so was probably bolted on the other side).

Upon opening the first room, they found Tsuna, who had been in there for several weeks. Her only human contact had been when food had been delivered. Food delivery was heralded by a tapping noise, then a door opened, and then there was a tapping until food was slid through a slot in the door.

The second room contained a massive pile of porridge and bowls – and a long-dead corpse.

The third room contained Shinokage. His story matched Tsuna’s: They are Imperial Magistrates investigating corruption in Crab lands. Two weeks ago, they were taken by surprise and woke up here.

With one exception, the rest of the rooms were either empty or contained corpses. That one exception contained a hodge-podge of gear, including Tsuna and Shinokage’s equipment. Chaya recovered a bow and some arrows that looked servicable from this room.

At this point, the party put the two captives from the tunnels into one of the cells and closed it before continuing.

In a stunning display of both strength and rage, Shinokage broke open the door at the end of the hallway, revealing a short hallway with some stairs leading up. Up those stairs, the party found themselves in what appeared to be the city sewers. There were ladders every 30-40 feet leading up to what is (presumably) street level.

After a brief discussion, they decided to head back down and explore the tunnels some more. They headed through the (previously-guarded) door and found themselves on a cliff face with a 5’-6’ wide path carved into it. The path was filled with switchbacks and led downward towards the sound of water.

Rounding one last switchback, they found a guard post with torches between them and the guard post. The placement of the torches meant that in the pitch-blackness of the cavern it was difficult to see what was on the other side.

It meant the party couldn’t see the guard post clearly, either. Without pausing to attempt parlay, the party chose to go on the offensive. Oharu fired an arrow into the post and was rewarded with a gurgling and a thud (OOC Note: Made the to-hit by one, rolled disgusting amounts of damage). Shinokage, Daredemo, and Fukurokuma approached cautiously to about the half-way point before charging. Shinokage arrived first at the post, and speared the remaining guard – not to a lethal degree, but enough that he wasn’t going to be much of a fight.

After that, Fukurokuma and Tsuna interrogated the guard, where the learned:

  • Beyond the guardhouse is a small dock and a couple of huts.
  • The cave is only accessible from the outside at high tide.
  • It has been several days since there have been any boats here.
  • All of the guards are new at this, having been hired by Itachi within the last few weeks.
  • Cargo comes in here, and then is hauled up the cliff face by hand, where it sits in the warehouse.

Following this stunning lack of actual revelation, the party headed back up to the warehouse room, where they opened a few crates. The crates were marked in a variety of languages, but no-one in the party recognized any non-Rokugani languages. Finally, they opened three crates. They recovered a tea set (which was very similar to the one Oharu and Chaya had purchased previously), an ingot of iron, and one of the sideways bows that the guards had been shooting at the party with. The bow lacked a string, however.

Finally, they decided to leave the complex, only to find that the trap door they had originally used to come down was still apparently blocked, so they headed back to the prison cells where they interrogated the prisoners for a few minutes and learned that those guards, too, were new at this.

They were mid-interrogation when the party heard a tapping noise coming from the stairs that led to the sewers.

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Session 11
Serpent 13-14

The party started its day by splitting up.

Daredemo went and followed Risu (who still has all ten fingers) to meet with her boss Araku. Araku offered Daredemo sake and invited him to the fights that night.

Oharu spent the afternoon in her room, as she was unwilling to go out without her bodyguard.

Fukurokuma had tea with the Scorpions.

Chaya caught up with Goso’s caravan and gave them some letters to deliver.

That evening, the party headed to the fights, which were in a seedy portion of the Warehouse district. They were seated in the box seats overlooking the fight. Araku was already seated and waiting when they arrived, and he provided running commentary throughout the fights themselves.

Most of the fights were traditional sumai, with a handful of weapons demonstrations. The most interesting of those involved two gaijin in Mantis colors, who provided a fencing demonstration.

The Main Event was The Big Guy – an ise zumi that Chaya had previously encountered during the winter at Shohi-en’s – versus Itachi’s champion. The fight lasted only seconds, as the Big Guy turned Itachi’s champion’s force against him, resulting in a near-instantaneous knockout.

Araku indicated to the party the The Big Guy had arrived just yesterday and refused to take no for an answer when it came to joining the fights. The Big Guy was also responsible for the party’s attendance at the fights.

At about this time, word came down that the authorities had located the fights and were moving in and the crowd started to disperse.

The Big Guy caught the attention of the party and indicated that he desired their presence. He explained that there were smuggling tunnels running beneath the city with an entrance in this very warehouse, and he wished to have the tunnel cleared. “I will watch this door so you will not be surprised from behind,” he told them, “But I cannot go into the tunnels.”

The party entered the tunnels, and shortly encountered a couple of buffoons guards in front of a sealed door. They attempted to bluff their way past and were almost successful. One of the guards went back into the tunnels to see if he could get authorization to let the party through. The other guard died very shortly thereafter.

The party passed through the door and found another tunnel with another door at the end. Crossbows were fired from that other doorway (both missed), and the party charged.

The party killed a couple of guards and took a few others hostage. Fukurokuma interrogated two of them. Meanwhile, Chaya (who had climbed on top of the crates during the fighting) spotted a hidden door to this underground warehouse.

The two hostage guards were effectively useless, with no information other than that cargo flowed both into and out of this underground warehouse. While interrogating them, Fukurokuma made adjustments to one of his bonsai-in-progress, and was very pleased with the changes made.

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Session 10
Serpent 12, 880

The party’s morning began when a party of Crab soldiers arrived at the inn to escort the party to the Governor. They were there to take Iuchi Chaya, but when they learned that the party was traveling together, the rest of the party was “invited” along.

When they arrived at the Governor’s palace, the party was not disarmed and was (after a wait) escorted to meet her. She was gruff, officious, and not particularly friendly – but she did deliver a piece of mail that had arrived for Chaya.

“How is it,” she asked, “that you merit an express courier when my regular monthly courier from ”/wikis/otosan-uchi" class=“wiki-page-link”> Otosan Uchi has yet to arrive?"
When asked about Itachi, she explained that he was nothing. A non-issue. And he would be dealt with at the proper time.

After the governor released them, the party split up.

Chaya and Oharu went back to the inn, while Daredemo decided to investigate and Fukurokuma followed Daredemo.

Daredemo went first to a Dragon-owned warehouse, where Sakura Kaizoku welcomed him. They chatted for a bit, and Daredemo learned that Itachi would send messengers to collect “his” percentage. “We do not pay,” Kaizoku said, “And so we must bring in extra guards, making it less profitable for us to be here.”

Daredemo’s next stop was a Lion-owned warehouse two doors down that had been attacked the previous night. There was a broken window and some smoke damage visible from the street. The Lions were searching incoming shipments and were very obviously out in force. There, Daredemo met with an elderly Lion (Akodo Osoroshi) who was able to give him a little bit of information about Itachi’s dealings as well. His sentiments mirrored those of Sakura Kaizoku.

Meanwhile, Fukurokuma went to the home of Itachi. He sat outside for a few hours before sending a messenger in with a request to meet. His request was approved, and he was invited inside. He was taken to a dark room where he spoke with a man on the other side of a screen before he was escorted out.

Back at the Inn, Doji Yopparai decided to make nice with Oharu while Chaya meditated. It turns out that Yopparai was drinking sake that he himself had brewed. It was, in fact, the best of his sake. And it was quite good. Yopparai had done reasonably well as a brewer. Most of his sake had reached the status of Junmai Ginjō-shu (which is judged by the Imperial Sake Licensing Group). He seemed quite proud of this particular accomplishment.

The keg he had been drinking from was the last of what he brought from home. He had been ambushed on the way and most of his stock was taken by bandits. “This isn’t a good town for refined sake,” he complained. “The Mantis all drink Awamori, and the Crab can’t tell good from bad.” He complained further that he thinks the Mantis are trading outside of Rokugan, and if true, the non-Rokugani have little hope of being able to appreciate the subtlety of fine sake such as his. “But the letter,” he said, “was so enticing.”

It turns out that he had been invited to bring his sake here to sell. That’s the only reason he came this far west.

He offered to sell his remaining keg at a “good price” to Oharu, and then quoted a price that seemed high.

On hearing this, Oharu grabbed Chaya. “I think,” she said, “We need to buy this sake.” Chaya agreed, and they split the cost.

Chaya then communed with the water in the sake, and saw only masks. When she used an artifact that was a gift from her grandmother, the masks were made of flesh and then melted. Upon seeing this, she grabbed her horse and rode after Goso, asking him to deliver a letter to the Unicorn outpost in Otosan Uchi for her.

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Session Nine
Serpent 9-11, 880

After seeing the caravan safely to its final destination, the party did a small amount of exploring the town. They started by trying to find an inn – they found several, but only one had a stable that was able to hold Chaya’s horses (and, even then, it was well below what she usually considered acceptable).

The innkeeper, Shiyonin, seemed to be afraid of life. She made a half-hearted effort at negotiating the terms of the stay, but buckled pretty quickly. The party ended up with three rooms.

The party then spent a great deal of time in the common room of the inn, eating rice that hadn’t been made by Cookie.

Also staying in the inn was Doji Yopparai, who was too drunk to interact with the party much – but every time the party came into the common room, he was there (and drinking).

The party spent a day shopping. When they went through the city gates, the guards seemed to be singling them out for harassment. It was also noticed almost immediately that nearly everyone in town went about armed and armored, as if the town were on a war footing.

Oharu pretended to be shopping for a family member, and insisted on buying “Crane goods.” After a few hours of wandering, they found Sagi-shi in one of the town’s bazaars selling “hand-crafted Crane tea sets” at an insanely low price. The party bought one set.

At about this time, Chaya decided to meditate and let the Void take her where it wanted her to be. On the way there, Daredemo spotted someone (Risu) following the party. Risu refused to deliberately tell the party anything useful, but she is young and not as well-controlled as she thinks she is, so small tidbits of information slipped through anyhow.

Chaya led the party to a small house that was shoulder-to-shoulder with its neighbors. When she knocked, a window opened up in the door, and they were questioned by an unfriendly individual. Risu, meanwhile, cowered and tried to stay out of sight of the door. This was apparently Itachi’s home.

After a few minutes outside the door (while Chaya blessed the home), the party headed back to the inn. Chaya cast a spell to learn the history of the tea set, and saw two Crab clan members and then two Mantis clan members (and then fire).

The party went to talk to Goso, in hopes that he could throw some information their way, but even he clammed up when Itachi was mentioned. He told the party that Itachi “runs this town” and he “owns this town.” And angering him (or even attracting his attention) would not be wise.

With that, the party headed back to the inn for the night.

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